HILFIGER STOCK SOARS
NEW YORK — Shares of Tommy Hilfiger on Friday skyrocketed 11.86 percent to close at a new 52-week high as Wall Street reacted favorably to the company’s third-quarter earnings results from the day before.
The stock closed at $16.50, up $1.75, on the New York Stock Exchange, surpassing its old 52-week high of $15.50. As reported, the company on Thursday posted third-quarter earnings per share of 47 cents, two cents higher than consensus estimates.
Dennis Rosenberg, an apparel analyst at C.S. First Boston, said Hilfiger has been his top pick for about six months. He was the first to upgrade the stock last July to “buy” from “hold,” and again in November to a “strong buy.” While start-up costs in fiscal 2002 for the opening of 25 specialty stores will penalize earnings in the first half, the analyst said he expects the second half to reap a small profit as the new stores start contributing to the overall bottom line.
The analyst, who is bullish on the apparel sector, expects that the “profitability of vendors will improve in 2001, even though sales would be slow.” Tommy’s gain helped boost Nautica Enterprises, which closed at $19.18, up $1.50, or 8.48 percent, in over-the-counter trading.
Other fashion vendors that showed strength on the NYSE included Warnaco, up 29 cents, or 7.63 percent, to close at $4.09, and Coach, up 37 cents, or 1.04 percent, to close at $36. In over-the-counter trading, Movado Group was gained 50 cents, or 3.7 percent, to close at $14.
Retailers in general lost ground on Friday, particularly those trading over-the-counter. The big losers were Hot Topic Inc., down $1.87, or 7.11 percent, to close at $24.50; Pacific Sunwear, down $2.31, or 6.86 percent, to close at $31.37; Coldwater Creek dipped $2.44, or 6.59 percent, to close at $34.56; and Ross Stores fell $1.06, or 4.67 percent, to close at $21.68. Two bright spots were Alloy Online Inc., up 94 cents, or 10.20 percent, to $10.12, and Charlotte Russe, up $2.12, or 7.73 percent, to $29.62.
On the Big Board, the big losers were The Sports Authority, down 40 cents, or 10.03 percent, to $3.59; Shopko Stores, down 50 cents, or 5.26 percent, to $9, and The Limited Inc., down 93 cents, or 4.48 percent, to $19.81.